Growing your agency is more difficult then ever.

ad agency new business

Do you need a new direction in new business?

And you need to grow in order to prosper. The new business rules are changing and you need to change to stay ahead of the curve. The challenge is how best to do that.

New business seems so simple and it’s so important. With growth you know where you are going and how you’re going to get there. Everything is so easy.

Unfortunately most agencies spend too much time doing client business and forget to focus on developing new business. And that attitude can get an agency into serious trouble in this fast-changing marketing-communications environment.

We understand. As a consulting firm we’ve focused all of our energy on understanding the art and science of growing advertising agencies. Listed below are the most common challenges faced by advertising agencies.

Top Ad Agency New Business Challenges

How to learn from the Pros. How do other agency leaders go after new business? What are your top competitors are doing that’s different How do other firms build awareness and create relationships. What do the best search consultants say is the best way to reach out. Where does one start to better understand new business?

You’re the Best Kept Secret. No one knows you’re around. You can do the work but you rarely get a chance to prove it. You answer the RFPs but nothing happens. You have revamped the agency and improved the talent, but no one calls. You worry your agency has a brand problem.

You Get the Cold Shoulder. There’s an account you want, but they ignore you. How to make the first contact on a good prospect? How to build awareness that you’re interested in their account? How to make cold calling pay off. How to start building relationships with great prospects.

It’s Howdy Doody Time on First Visits. You make lots of calls (Howdy, I’m here) but you don’t know Doody about how to close them. You never get any call backs after a good first visit. Prospects say they like your capabilities, but then they go quiet. What question should you always ask a good prospect? How to stop your good prospects from drifting into a formal review or hiring someone else?

Always a Bridesmaid – Never a Bride in Pitching. Your agency is always presenting but never winning. You come in second on your pitches. The prospect always thanks you for the effort, but someone wins. Making presentations tears the agency apart. Isn’t there a better way? How do you win major pitches? What’s the secret?

Dealing with Purchasing. What to do when Purchasing runs the review? What to change now that you have to go through Purchasing on all your work. Purchasing wants to bid everything out. Purchasing passes all your great suggestions out for everyone else to bid on. Your key contact is under pressure to use Purchasing. What do you say?

Dead Man Walking. You’re the Incumbent. You’re the incumbent and now your client has initiated an agency review. You’re invited to pitch to retain the business, do you? How want to keep the account but the formal review is starting because “it’s company policy.” You’re doing great work for a client and now a new marketing director has been hired. Your client tells you the agency review is nothing to worry about but you do. Should you be worried?

Can’t Get Invited to the Dance. There’s a big review going on that would be perfect for you, but you’re not invited in. A search consultant is running the review and you don’t know how to get in. Can you really crash a review and still win? Are leads you see in the press really worth chasing?

Too Many Farmers – Not Enough Hunters. You’re great at keeping accounts (farming) but you don’t win any new business (hunting). Your agency senior staff won’t make any new business calls. No one takes responsibility for new business. Little or no agency outreach is going on. You’re surrounded by prospects, but how do you turn them into new business leads?

Sanders Consulting Group has been a leader in the marketing communication industry for over 30 years.


“Our training programs are packed with the most important elements of growth including branding of your firm, chemistry, lead generation, fast closing, giving tours and more.” 

Bob Sanders President, Sanders Consulting Group

Our track record for helping agencies grow through client retention and new business wins is unparalleled. In any given year, Sanders Consulting works with most of the top ten advertising agencies and hundreds of local and specialized firms. Our extensive roster of programs and services is unique in the industry.

Beyond agency growth, Sanders Consulting has developed practice areas dedicated to agency re-branding, operations management, productivity improvement and information technology, as well as a wide variety of management concerns and ownership issues.

We only work with creative firms – do no work for clients. We’re on your side. Ad agencies, design firms, PR shops, digital, we’ve been there. We’ve trained over 5000 of your peers. As you evaluate opportunities and challenges at your marketing firm, never hesitate to give us a call at 412.897.9329 or send an email to [email protected]


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